Brown Rice and Lentil Pilaf

3 Sep

Tonight was the third and final night of our brown rice and lentil pilaf. Not a single eating of this dish involved a reasonable dinner hour, either. Because we adapted a recipe originally calling for white rice, the cooking time skyrocketed. I think the earliest we consumed this meal was 8:30 one night, and no, we are not one of those sophisticated, pseudo-European couples. I tend to be ready for dinner when your grandma is. However, I will declare that this was worth the work, though I’m glad we made three nights’ worth of the rice in one batch.

Brown Rice and Lentil Pilaf

Serves 6 (adapted from Joy of Cooking)


  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (or water)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Rinse and pick over lentils. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Stir in the lentils and boil for 10 minutes (uncovered). Drain the lentils and set aside. Then heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat, adding the garlic and cumin seeds until they sizzle, about a minute. Then add the lentils and the brown rice. Stir until they’re coated, about a minute. Then add at least three cups of vegetable broth (or water) and the salt. Keep an eye on the rice and add more liquid as needed. Cover, boil, then reduce heat to medium-low until the rice is tender and the moisture is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Let stand for five minutes uncovered. At this point, toast walnuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about four minutes. Serve up pilaf topped with toasted walnuts.

If I had made this solo, I would have reduced the oil to one tablespoon, but the recipe is delicious as is. We decided to accompany it with steamed broccoli, about 1/2 a pound each (weight before cooking). I topped mine with a substantial pinch of nutritional yeast and black pepper;

my beloved opted for lemon juice (unpictured, but I bet you can imagine it).

This proved to be a substantial but not overwhelming meal. According to SparkPeople, mine had 495 calories, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, and 18 grams of fiber.

Do you prefer brown or white rice? I no longer purchase the pale stuff, but I always enjoy it at Mediterranean and Indian restaurants. I still think I prefer brown rice, however.


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